Victims’ group SEFF in bid to curtail NIO Troubles legacy consultation

Ken Funston of SEFF, whose brother was murdered by the IRA, addresses a seminar on Troubles legacy legislation earlier this year
Ken Funston of SEFF, whose brother was murdered by the IRA, addresses a seminar on Troubles legacy legislation earlier this year

A leading victims’ group has launched a petition in an effort to highlight the importance of the NIO’s consultation on Troubles legacy proposals.

A leading victims’ group has launched a petition in an effort to highlight the importance of the NIO’s consultation on Troubles legacy proposals.

A spokesman for the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) said he was appalled that the UK government approach to legacy issues favours terrorist organisations over the forces of law and order.

“Terrorism was responsible for 90% (over 3,000) of deaths during the Troubles, yet the NIO documents do not once refer to terrorism and those who committed it,” Ken Funston said.

“It is structured to investigate former members of the security forces, whilst ignoring the mass murderers and their godfathers of terror. I am absolutely appalled that our government is assisting those who took this country to the brink of total anarchy.

“The rule of law and the needs of victims and survivors have been ignored for 20 years post the Belfast Agreement, this proposed new legislation in its current format will continue in that vein.”

The SEFF advocacy services manager added: “Through consultation with others it was viewed necessary to develop a petition in order to mobilise people into understanding the importance of the present consultation on the NIO legacy proposals.

“This draft legislation, if it becomes law in its present format, will potentially have an unquantifiable effect on the future of Northern Ireland. The history of the Troubles as we know it, will be altered by what these proposed structures aspire to, and the revisionist policy sought by many will surely be assisted.”

The public consultation was launched by the NIO on May 11 and will close this Friday.

Kenny Donaldson, SEFF’s director of services, urged everyone concerned about how the history of the Troubles will be represented in the future to “take 60-90 seconds to support this petition”.

He said: “The proposals as they currently stand do not meet the NIO’s own tests as referred to within the opening section of the consultation document – to be balanced, proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable. Fundamental change is needed if support is to be offered by the innocent victims/survivors of terrorism constituency and also those who are former members of the security forces.”

Mr Donaldson added: “The constituency we serve does not support the proposals as they currently stand.”

The petition is available to sign here

It reads: “The NIO legacy proposals (derived from The Stormont House Agreement) in their current format do not meet the needs of innocent victims and survivors of terrorism. They are clearly developed to investigate the role of the UK state during the ‘Troubles’, whilst ignoring the role of the Republic of Ireland state and the fact that terrorist organisations are responsible for over 90% of ‘Troubles’ related deaths, some 3,000 plus and all of which were murder.

“The Provisional movement’s revisionist agenda will be assisted by the proposed legislation, and if allowed to proceed without change, our history will look somewhat different.

“We the undersigned oppose the proposals as they currently stand, fundamental change is needed. We demand a suite of proposals which are balanced, proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable.”